October 26, 2007 by Steven Castle
Green home networking? D-Link thinks it’s possible with its new switches that conform to the company’s Green Ethernet technology.
Switches connect multiple computers to a router so users can share Internet access and printers. D-Link’s new gigabit DGS-2200 series desktop switches conserve energy by recognizing when a port is active or inactive, so when a connected computer shuts down, the switch will power down the corresponding port into standby mode and reduce the power used. According to D-Link’s white paper, Green Computer and D-Link, when devices like computers are attached to these specialized switches, the switches automatically detect power-down events and stop sending ping packets to the nodes, thereby saving power.
The switches are also capable of altering power usage in relation to the length of Ethernet cables. For example, a port connected to a 20-meter cable only uses as much power as it needs, instead of using the full power needed for 100-meter cables.
D-Link says the new switches will benefit small office/home office (SOHO) users who don’t need perpetual use of their computers or all the ports on their switches. The 5-port DGS-2205’s maximum power savings is 44 percent, and normal day power savings is 27 percent. The 8-port DGS-2208’s maximum power savings is 80 percent, and normal day power savings is 40 percent.
The DGS-2208 and DGS-2205 are available for $75 and $55, respectively. In November, D- Link will introduce 16- and 24-port rack-mounted gigabit switches also using the Green Ethernet technology.
D-Link has plans to use the energy-saving Green Ethernet technology in all its routers and switches, says D-Link spokesman Les Goldberg. “The plans are there. It’s just a matter of priorities,” he says. “The routers we have are pretty energy efficient, but they haven’t gone through the Energy Star and [D-Link] green certification yet.”
D-Link says its networking equipment goes beyond IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) standards that aim to reduce power consumption in switches by automatically powering down, idling or moving to different transfer rates. D-Link executives do not expect other industry products based on the IEEE standard to arrive until 2012. Maybe these greener switches hasten that.
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Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates
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